How is varicella-zoster virus (VZV) differentiated from herpes simplex virus (HSV)?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020
  • Author: Anthony J Papadopoulos, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Histologic examination of skin lesions does not differentiate VZV from herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. Intranuclear eosinophilic inclusion bodies are seen in epithelial cells in both infections. Leukocytoclastic vasculitis and hemorrhage are more common in VZV lesions than HSV, however, and both immunohistochemistry and direct fluorescent antibody testing can be used to differentiate between the infections. [21]


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